In an issue of the Business Common Sense newsletter, Deny Hatch writes: To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Plain English Campaign surveyed 5,000 supporters in 70 countries. They voted on the most irritating phrase in the language. The results:

* 1. At the end of the day
* 2. At this moment in time
* 3. The constant use of like as if it were a form of punctuation
* 4. With all due respect

From the Plain English press release: Spokesman John Lister said over-used phrases were a barrier to communication. “When readers or listeners come across these tired expressions, they start tuning out and completely miss the message—assuming there is one! Using these terms in daily business is about as professional as wearing a novelty tie or having a wacky ring tone on your phone.

“George Orwell’s advice from 1946 is still worth following: ‘Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.'”

Other over-used phrase nominations from the Plain English survey:

* 24/7
* absolutely
* address the issue
* around (in place of about)
* awesome
* ballpark figure
* basically
* basis (on a weekly basis in place of weekly and so on)
* bear with me
* between a rock and a hard place
* blue sky (thinking)
* boggles the mind
* bottom line
* crack troops
* glass half full (or half empty)
* going forward
* I hear what you’re saying…
* in terms of…
* it’s not rocket science
* literally
* move the goal-posts
* ongoing
* prioritize
* pushing the envelope
* singing from the same hymn sheet
* the fact of the matter is
* thinking outside the box
* to be honest/to be honest with you/to be perfectly honest
* touch base
* up to (in place of about)
* value-added (in general use)

(Business Common Sense, 12/14/06)

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